Tools for assessing exclusion

Many donor measures are concerned with mapping the processes of exclusion and identifying the excluded in a given country: an important task when such groups may previously have been excluded from development interventions. The DFID Gender and Social Exclusion ‘How to’ Note below also aims to identify the implications of exclusion for economic development and growth, and for conflict and political stability, in any given context.

Hinds, R. (2013). Tools for Participatory Analysis of Poverty, Social Exclusion and Vulnerability GSDRC (Helpdesk Research Report 959). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.
How can participation be used in analyses of micro-level social exclusion? This rapid review of academic and practitioner literature identifies several quantitative and qualitative tools. A major lesson is that practitioners’ qualities and skills are as important as the tools. This includes cultural sensitivity, humility, facilitation skills, experience and training. Practitioners also need to manage expectations, do no harm, and ensure accessibility and gender sensitivity. Useful approaches have included ranking, seasonal calendars, storytelling, and participatory theatre. Visuals (e.g. diagrams) have often proven helpful.
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DFID (2008) Gender and Social Exclusion Analysis How to Note (Practice Paper). London: DFID.
This guidance note from DFID suggests a structure, methodology and analytical framework for a Gender and Social Exclusion Analysis (GSEA). A GSEA examines who is excluded, plus the processes, impacts and implications of gender inequality and social exclusion. DFID country offices should carry out a GSEA before preparing a Country Governance Analysis and as part of the country planning process. The GSEA should inform the analysis, issues and choices stages of the country planning process.
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Several donor agencies have also developed tools for political economy analysis, which can be conducted at a country, sector or problem level in order to support the design of country strategies and programmes. Some of the more widely cited country-level approaches are DFID’s Drivers of Change, the Dutch Foreign Ministry’s Strategic Governance and Corruption Assessment, and SIDA’s Power Analysis.

DFID’s ‘Drivers of Change’ approach, for example, focuses on agents (individuals and organisations pursuing particular interests), structural features (the history of state formation, economic and social structures), and institutions (the rules governing the behaviour of agents). It is used to analyse the way power works in a society, and to understand the formal and informal institutions and incentives that drive change or maintain the status quo. This type of analysis can provide deeper insights into how exclusion operates in a particular context, and help identify options to bring about more inclusion.

DFID. (2009). Political Economy Analysis How to Note (Practice Paper). London: DFID.
DFID’s ‘how to’ note aims to bring together the diverse literature and tools on political economy analysis in a short and accessible document. It covers the following questions: What is political economy analysis? How and why does political economy analysis add value to development agencies’ work? What political economy tools are available? How does political economy analysis relate to other tools? And how should political economy analysis be prepared, undertaken and applied?  It includes case studies on how political economy analysis has been used by DFID offices.
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Examples of political economy analysis, including DFID’s Drivers of Change country studies, are available in the GSDRC topic guide on Political Economy Analysis:

Mcloughlin, C. (2014). Political Economy Analysis: Topic Guide (2nd ed.) Birmingham: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.
Poverty and Social Impact Assessments (PSIA) are another way of analysing the impact of policy reforms on different stakeholder groups, with a particular focus on the poor and vulnerable. They can also be an important way of providing a focus on, and opening up dialogue around, issues of exclusion.
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World Bank. (2007). Tools for Institutional, Political, and Social Analysis of Policy Reform: A Sourcebook for Development Practitioners. Washington, DC: World Bank.
This Sourcebook introduces a framework as well as tools for institutional, political, and social analysis (TIPS) in Poverty and Social Impact Analysis. Intended primarily for practitioners who undertake policy analysis in developing countries, it provides illustrative guidance on a range of tools and their application.
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For further resources on political economy analysis tools, see the GSDRC Political Economy Analysis guide